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Blog by Nikki Alvin-Smith

You may think that blanketing your horses or having the cover of trees in your pasture eliminates the need to worry about providing shelter with a run-in shed. If you turn your horse out for just a few hours at a time and are present to bring him in should the weather turn bad then perhaps this is true.
Horses in snow
However, many of us like to turn our horses out for several...

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October 18, 2017 posted by Content Admin

Blog by Nikki Alvin-Smith

I learned about hay early in life thanks to my wonderful grandfather, ‘Pop.’ As a child growing up in rural Buckinghamshire, England, I was blessed to live on a property with horses, paddocks, fields and super bridleways that weaved through 500 year-old oak trees, with sandy loam soils underfoot and lots of galloping fun.

My grandfather grew up a farmer’s son in the small village of Mentmore. He delighted in sharing his knowledge of everything animal and farming. One day when I was just 11 years old, he took me into one of our...

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October 3, 2017 posted by Content Admin

Blog by Nikki Alvin-Smith

Did you ever look at a horse barn and stare in amazement wondering, “Why on earth did they put it there?”

I have. There is more to placing your barn on the best site possible than you might think. Here’s our top ten list of barn location mistakes folks make and a few horse barn tips on what to avoid doing yourself.

1.I put it right next to my house so I could see my horse’s face peeping out in the morning.

Well who wouldn’t want to see their horse from the kitchen window while...

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September 12, 2017 posted by Content Admin

Blog by Nikki Alvin-Smith

To board or to buy? There are many good reasons to do either but if are considering building a barn for horses in your own backyard then be sure there are no foibles in your plan. Here are a few horse barn tips things to think about before you start.

Size Matters

I have a friend who built a beautiful horse farm replete with 50 stalls, additional carriage houses for guests and a superb home. When he and his wife retired they placed their property on the market. Where it sat. And sat. And still sits. Why...

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August 27, 2017 posted by Content Admin

Blog by Nikki Alvin-Smith and Jill Siragusa

Part 2: The Differences Between Prefabricated and Pole Barns

In Part 1 of this post, we wanted to get you thinking about how an “apple” – i.e. prefab/modular horse barn is different from an “orange” pole barn in order to help you can make an intelligent comparison between the two and an informed decision when purchasing a horse barn.  In Part 2, we continue the discussion with an explanation of some additional, equally important advantages of prefabricated structures over stick-built ones when buying a horse...

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August 4, 2017 posted by Content Admin

Blog by Nikki Alvin-Smith and Jill Siragusa

Part 1: The Differences Between Prefabricated and Pole Barns

As a horse owner, the delights of having your own horse barn need no explanation and the excitement of bringing your horse(s) home cannot be overstated.  Before you make the financial commitment to build your barn, there are a few points you might wish to consider to ensure you make the right choices.

Take a look at the differences between a prefabricated or modular structure and a pole barn build.  Because many folks don’t compare “apples to...

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August 4, 2017 posted by Content Admin

Blog by Nikki Alvin-Smith

Part 8: After the Sale

After The Sale - prefab barn

We’ve all been there. Purchased something, worked with it and found there is something wrong. Maybe what you received is not what you ordered? Perhaps it was received later than promised. The whole pleasurable shopping experience is suddenly a distant memory, as you now need to consider...

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July 29, 2017 posted by Content Admin

Blog by Nikki Alvin-Smith


The design of a horse barn door or entrance to a run-in shed is of great importance to the safety of yourself and your horse. Even multi-million dollar college facilities still manage to get it wrong, implementing narrow aisle ways and “skinny” doors in an attempt to add more stalls to the space.

Bad Stall Doors

The result of a bad design in...

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July 10, 2017 posted by Content Admin

Blog by Nikki Alvin-Smith

Most horse owners are dog owners too. Smart horse owners know that having dogs around their equine facility provide more than companionship. Dogs are an early warning device announcing the arrival of visitors to the farm and can provide a level of security, they chase down vermin, and are of course a great source of amusement with their antics providing a de-stress therapy treatment. A dog is a multi-faceted talent and consequently many of us have more than just one.

But dogs can also be an issue. Here are the top five...

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June 22, 2017 posted by Content Admin

Blog by Nikki Alvin-Smith

Part 7:  Delivery

Shed and stable delivery


Horizon Structures Delivers on ‘Delivery ‘.


The keenly anticipated delivery day for your beautiful Horizon Structure has arrived. No need to be nervous because the driver and Amish carpentry team that bring your building are all experienced at handling both large and small delivery equipment, from a mule (no, not the equus variety!), a F550- type truck, or a tractor...

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June 6, 2017 posted by Content Admin

Blog by Nikki Alvin-Smith

There is a lot more to haymaking than 'Making Hay While the Sun Shines' though that is a necessary start. Sadly each year horse barns and farmers storage barns burn down, horses become sick from respiratory disease and colic and a myriad of other diseases such as Cushings. Many of these situations are avoidable so here are, in my opinion, "The Seven Deadly Sins of Horse Hay Making," in no particular order.

1. Hay Moisture.


Baling hay that shows a moisture content of over 14% can...

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May 19, 2017 posted by Content Admin

Blog by Nikki Alvin-Smith

Part 6:  Construction

There are myriad advantages of prefabricated structures over traditionally built barns. Take a look.

We all know that weather can play havoc with building schedules and damage building materials. At Horizon Structures most of the build is undertaken indoors. Not only does this mean that the building process stays on schedule. It also means quality control is efficient and the sincere craftsmanship from our wonderful team of Amish carpenters can be completed without the stress of high winds, rain,...

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May 15, 2017 posted by Content Admin

Blog by Nikki Alvin-Smith

Don’t Fool Around With Foal Safety

Foal Safety

The foal is the goal and the goal is to keep that foal happy and healthy. Every year foals die due to accidents. While some no-one could have foreseen, some are preventable. Many occur due to poor stall design.  Below are 7 easy ways to “baby proof” your barn…

1. The comfort and safety of ‘Mom’...

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May 2, 2017 posted by Content Admin

Blog by:  Kim Cabatuan, Outreach Specialist for Open Colleges

crate training for your puppy

Have you thought about keeping your dog in a crate especially if you tend to go out of the house for longer periods of time? Is placing a dog in a kennel safe? Is it even “right”?

If so, you might consider crate training for your puppy or full grown dog.

Dogs are actually den animals and they...

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April 28, 2017 posted by Content Admin

Blog by Nikki Alvin-Smith



When Dreams and Reality Collide

Nikki Alvin Smith

Do you remember the first time you met a horse? Was it a monumental moment? Was it love at first sight?

For me the answer is a big fat YES! I lived on a tiny residential street in Southern England and three doors down the blacksmith toiled day after day and...

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April 24, 2017 posted by Content Admin

Part 5:  Site Prep

Site Prep

Most of Horizon Structures’ well designed buildings are delivered fully assembled.   The exception being a larger, modular barn. Quick. Easy. Instant. How awesome is that? Your only task is to have the site properly leveled, prepared and ready to herald this great event. Frankly, shed ground prep is not that complicated.

What do you need to do to prepare your site?

Once the sod has been removed from the pad and the dirt has been...

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March 28, 2017 posted by Content Admin

Part 4: Permits


Some people wrestle with whether or not they should obtain a permit for their prefab horse barn or indoor riding arena project.  They ask themselves "Why should I have to get a permit to put a building on my own property?"  As tempting as it might be to skip this process, putting up a barn without the permit could be a mistake you would...

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February 17, 2017 posted by Content Admin

Part 3: Financing

Financing Barns

So far in our Prefabricated Barn Buying Process blog series we talked about the initial quote and designing/customizing your barn.   Next in the series – and equally as important to realizing the dream of building your own barn – is the means to pay for it! Today we’re covering barn financing. You can see more on our website HERE.


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January 12, 2017 posted by Content Admin

PART 2: Customizing Your Barn

Customizing Your Barn

Every Horizon Structures barn is built-to-order and; therefore, customized to some degree or another.  Your customization could be a simple as choosing the shingle color or as complex as completely rearranging the floor plan and adding every available option.

Chances are, you’ve been collecting ideas for your new prefabricated barn for some time now.  Each barn you pass...

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December 10, 2016 posted by Content Admin

Part 1: Getting a Quote

If you’re like most people who come to us for a prefabricated barn, you’ve done hours and hours of research looking for a building that’s going to meet your every want and need. What you’ve likely come to realize is that there are many builders out there to choose from but, more often than not, they don’t give you the quality, customizations, personalized service and guarantee that we offer here at Horizon Structures.

Our process helps ensure that we meet the needs...

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October 18, 2016 posted by Content Admin